A detailed guide on primary archery bows.

Archery is one of the oldest tools of hunting in the history of mankind. More than that, it is an art, a skill, and most importantly a tool of protection that has been an integral part of human civilization since the early human era. Over time, it has earned tremendous popularity as a sport and a recreational activity too.

Archery is practiced with the help of archery bows and arrows. Archery bows have existed in different forms across the globe and have undergone immense development with time. 

Ancient archery bows are preserved in museums across different parts of the world. They were mainly made of wood and leather. However, the bows we have today in modern times are constructed with high-tech materials with advanced shooting mechanisms.

If you are an archery enthusiast, you surely have a collection of exquisite bows for your practice. But to be a good archer, it is important to know about the basic types of Archery bows. 

Types of Archery bows:

There are 6 main types of archery bows that are normally used today’s time. Let’s understand in brief about these bows, their history, composition, shapes, speed and techniques used.

  • Recurve bow 

A recurve bow is the most basic one, which owes its name to its shape. The center of the limbs curves inward while the tips of the limbs curve outwards. In earlier times, they were mainly used by horsemen. In today’s time, they are used in Olympic tournaments. 

A recurve bow is great for a beginner to learn, as it does not require much strength from the archer. The configuration of the bow is designed in a way that gives it more power while using. Its main components are a string, an arrow rest, a riser, and bow limbs. 

That does mean they are not suitable for experts. An archer can add additional components like pressure buttons, stabilizers as and when he gains more experience. 

If you are enthusiastic about learning archery, you should surely check out the expert line of custom bowstrings on our website.

  • Takedown Bow

It is a type of Recurve bow whose limbs can be taken down from the riser for easy storage and transportation purpose. Hence the name “takedown”!

They are relatively cheaper in price and quite easy to use. In case any of the parts break, it can easily be replaced. You can choose to add new limbs with more weight as and when you become more experienced in this art.

  • Longbow

As the name suggests, longbows are longer in length than any other archery bow. They are constructed with curved wood, which can be as long as the archer himself. They have a great traditional significance as their origin dates back to the 13th century.

They are suitable for expert archers as they are comparatively harder to aim, do not have an arrow rest, and lack speed. Hence, they are not recommended for beginners.

  • Yumi bow

Yumi is a Japanese term meaning “bow”. Yumi bows are an important part of Japanese culture and are used in Japanese Archery known as Kyudo. They were first used by the popular samurai warriors of Japan. The earliest versions of Yumi bows were made of bamboo, wood, and leather.

However, the modern versions are constructed with carbon fiber, fiberglass, lacquered bamboo, standard authentic yumi, etc. They are very tall in length similar to longbows.

  • Reflex bow

A reflex has curved arms, which face away from the archer throughout their length. This is how it differs from a Recurve bow, in which only the tips of the limbs face outward. 

When you remove the strings of a reflex bow, the entire length of the bow will fold inwards resembling a “C” shape. This puts great stress on the curves, which will help with your draw strength and draw height. Due to this advantage, a shorter reflex bow can be used to shoot with a great velocity like a recurve bow or a longbow.

  • Compound bows

Compound bows were first developed during the 17th century. They use the modern technique of levering systems like cables and pulleys. These technologies help the archers to bend the limbs and hold a heavy draw weight without putting in much force and strength.

The limbs on a compound bow are stiffer, mainly because of their composition. Hence, they are more energy-efficient. When it comes to the material, they are usually made up of aluminum, magnesium, carbon, and fiberglass. They are easy to use and increase the accuracy of the shot without much effort.

  • Crossbows

Crossbows have been an integral part of the military for ages. They were believed to be first developed and used in Ancient China during 600 BC. . The modernized versions of crossbows allow the archer to shoot more than just arrows. You can use rocks as well as lead bullets with these.

Unlike other archery bows, they possess horizontal limbs that are mounted on a main frame. Their strings are made of string fibers.


If you are interested in learning archery then there is a lot more you need to learn besides archery bows. You can learn the same from Vapor Trail. Vapor Trailis a leading manufacturer of exquisite bowstrings and provider of other archery gears and accessories for archery lovers.

We could not only help you learn about important archery elements but also provide a myriad range of collections of different archery, accessories, tools, and gears that are essential for archery learning. Ranging from bowstring customizers to arrow rests to accessories, to bowstring maintenance products, we have got it all.

Check out our website to learn about our products, their designs, and technologies used in making them. You can also read our blogs to know more about this skill and make an informed decision while making any purchase.

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